Thursday, February 27, 2014

Halftime: Making it to 20 Weeks

Hello there! Can you believe that its the end of the month already? Weren't we just celebrating the new year? I guess it's true that time waits for no man…or woman. And really, that's what this post is all about, time. Or rather, how I have so little of it before this little girl makes her debut.

I know every pregnancy is different, but this one has been a real challenge. Mainly due to the continued morning sickness that is still present even now from time to time. But what is really on my mind, is that I have made it to the half way mark. I am officially almost there in a sense. However, it is not the nausea that has me in its grasp. It is knowing that I have tons of things to do before she gets here. I can attest that I'm much more relaxed mentally then I was with Masaya. But. I also know that there are things that need to be done before this baby comes. Here's the short list:

1. Clean & Organize all rooms
2. Prepare the nursery
3. Prepare Masaya & Dexter (as much as a 4 year old and a dog can be prepared)
4. Find a doula (started early with no luck thus far)
5. Take refresher parenting & breastfeeding classes
6. Pamper myself as much as possible!!!!
7. Take an infant CPR class
8. Spend time with Kenji & Masaya (everyone needs special mommy time)
9. Register for baby
10. Have a shower/sprinkle (although I don't plan it, I need to know whats going on)
11. Put birth plan together

Hhhhhmmmm….I think that's about it. Am I forgetting anything? For those of you reading this with experience on baby number two, what did you do to prepare? I would love to hear from you and know that I'm on the right track. As always, be blessed!

Love Malinda xoxox

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day from A Tokyo Girl At Heart

Masaya enjoying a strawberry milkshake for two.

Hello my sweet Valentines! I know that for many, this is a day to spend with your partners and spouses and tell each other how much you love one another. But for some of us, it is a day of dread and annoyance. Now for those of you in happy and healthy relationships, I am in no way saying don't speak on your feelings. Please do. The world needs more love in it and that's a good thing. But maybe, that's what the focus should be about, just love... in any form. I celebrate my love for my child on this day, but what about those of you who have no children or really don't want them. Should you be excluded? No, not at all. So maybe, just maybe, this day can focus on our connections as human beings, not only with others but with ourselves. Because truly, that is the greatest love of all... self love. Once that is mastered, then we can spread it to every corner of the global. At least, that's what I try to teach my little one through the medium of milkshakes and conversation hearts.

Sending an abundance of L O V E to you all
Malinda xoxoxox
At Buffalo's famous Parkside Candy, looking at ice cream flavors and decadent chocolates.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Malinda's Top Valentine's Day Movies

Happy Valentine's Day my friends! Its that time of year again. And before you are start to say "Aaaaawww" or start wondering what I have planned, I'm going to stop you. I personally do not like Valentines Day for the simple reason that it has, for the most part always been a disappointment. I can remember maybe 2 Valentines Days out of my 32 years that were pretty special and one involved my son. Now, I'm not bashing V-Day, I actually love the idea of it. And yes, it is commercialized, just like any other holiday, but the essence is still there, to celebrate love and that is something I can and always will get behind. So yes, I may not be fond of the day, but I am fond of movies. Especially the ones I'm listing for you now. They have never disappointed me yet, so let's go! Oh, and just so you know, if you're looking for The Notebook or Love Actually, you've come to the wrong list and you can stop reading now. Just a heads up :)

 The Best Man & The Best Man Holiday
I remember when the first of these two films came out and every black girl just knew that they would have a wedding just like The Best Man including my damn self. I adore this movies for so many reasons. A screen full of beautiful brown  faces. The fact that they were all professionals in the midst of the their careers. And most importantly, the love shown, between partners and friends. If you haven't seen these films, please do.

Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love
For those of you who read my past post talking about my bucket list, you already know that I want to go to India. This movie is one of the reasons why. And don't be deceived by the title of the movie. It is not an instructional video, though it does give you some very helpful tips and pointers from the sexual manual, but that's a bonus. This movie is so vivid, so rich, that honestly the scenery could have just been its own movie. But the story itself is absolutely beautiful.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
OK, I know what you're thinking. How the hell is The Lord of the Rings a Valentine's Day movie, let alone the whole trilogy. I'll tell you why. Because behind all the fantasy and the fighting and crazy looking creatures, the main point is that love does conquer all. That good and light will always defeat the darkness. That real friends, true relationships, they will last and will be there, always. I'm getting weepy just thinking about it.

Pride & Prejudice
And of course the the English major in me could not resist to put a Bronte novel on here. I love this Keira Knightly version and I am still waiting on my own Mr. Darcy to come in and sweep me off my feet and whisk me away to Pemberly, where we will live forever, happily in love with all our money. Now I'm starting to understand that "women being rescued" stigma. Oh well, I'm still waiting Darcy!!! I'm here, save me!

Monsoon Wedding
Once again we are traveling back to India, but this time, we're in modern India and frankly we are still having a ball. This film once again had the amazing background to play a cast member, capturing the essence of this country and its culture. But the script and the cast are so witty and funny and heartfelt, you swear that you're not in your living room watching a movie, but in the midst of all the family commotion. Tens across the board.

The Princess Bride
"As you wish". Oh my sweet Westly, let's ride off into the sunset. I think this has been one of my favorite movies since I was 8.  And the simple fact that the late Peter Faulk and Andre the Giant are in it should be enough to make you watch this movie over and over again. Actually, why are you reading this? Go and watch this movie!

 Say Anything
It's the  80's and you wear high top sneakers and carry abloom box with you at all times just in case you  have to show some grand gesture of just how much you love your girl. If this  is you, your name might be Lloyd Dobbler.   This coming of age  tale was another movie that shaped  my perception of relationships and  even more so the relationships that we have with our parents. If you have thought the world of mom or dad or both and one day you find that  they are not the person  you were  thought they were, how to rebuild and really can you?

The Color Purple
I saved the best for last. This is in fact my favorite movie of all time. Its a classic through in through. And yes, it is another film which shows the dynamic of different kinds of relationships, with siblings and lovers. But my main reason for making this my number one is that it shows the important ace of self love and what the out come is when you love yourself and when you don't. How that self love shapes everything around you. Like I said, classic.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Malinda's Beauty Bar: Winter Favorites

These are some of my winter must haves.

Hello friends! Hope you are all keeping as warm as possible. I know I am.  Its funny, when I was younger, the cold never bothered me. I loved it actually. The older I get, the more I want to be a snowbird and only live in New York from April to November and spend the rest of the year somewhere extremely warm. But knowing me, I'd get sick of that too and run home. I often get asked a lot of questions about my beauty and skin routine. I really just stick with the basics, thanks to my amazing mother who is an esthetician and phenomenal make-up artist. But like everyone I have my favorite items that I absolutely LOVE. Here are my winter picks.

For those of you who don't know, I love soft skin. I will do almost anything for soft skin. I remember working in Atlanta when I was there for university and on my lunch break, my co-workers and I would sometimes eat at a near by strip club ( long story and I will touch on that another time) for their $5 steaks. My biggest impression from all the women that worked there was that they all had the softest, most supple skin I had ever felt. Let the coveting commence! I asked "How is your skin this amazing?" and I received the same response every time…oil. I'm big when it comes to oil, especially in the winter because if you live in the Northeast of America like me, you know just how dry and bitter winter can be. Josie Maran Aragan Oil is one of my all time favorites for any season and I use it all year round. I use the light version on my face at night and the regular in my bath, on my skin and on my son's hair after a good, deep conditioning. If we're going to keep talking about skin, we can't forget the lips. My lips are one of my most beloved body parts, so I make sure to take extra care of it. Especially since your lips have no moisture glands and this is the reason why they become chap. Now I have an abundance of lip balms and slaves and creams, but I love my Smith's Rosebud Salve. You only need a small amount and your lips will feel like silk. not to mention the amazing smell they give off.  I'm also a big Clarins users. I use their gentle cleanser and facial exfoliate, their body scrub and renew mask. But one of the best in their line is the fine line corrector. Now, I don't have fine lines just yet, but I do get dark circles under my eyes for sure. A small amount just before I put on my moisturizer and "BAM!", I look like I've slept like Sleeping Beauty. Lastly, since progressing into my pregnancy I try my best to find ways to relax. I do yoga and listen to tons of music, but by far, my number one way to relax on my own is taking a bath. I dim the lights, put on some Sade, lit one of my favorite candles and hop in the tub. I use a number of bath bombs, salts and oils, but this Japanese Milk Bath is awesome. Its cheap, has a lovely, not over powering scent and its exactly what I need after a long day and a growing belly.

So there they are, my winter picks. And of course, these are not the only products that I use, but I do love them dearly. What are some of your favorite winter products? I'm always looking for something new. And always feel free to ask me any questions about items I use. Enjoy the rest of the week and take care!

Love Malinda xoxox

*All items, except Milk bath can be found at or any Sephora location.

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Importance of Celebrating Birthdays

My son, Masaya, celebrating his 4th birthday this past weekend.

Hello there and happy February friends! 2014 is not wasting anytime and neither am I.  My pregnancy is progressing nicely and everyday I feel more and more like myself again. But this post isn't about me and the wee one inside my tummy, its about birthday and why we need to celebrate them. 

My son turned 4 on January 31st and I couldn't be happier. These past few years have flown by so quickly I literally have to stop and catch my breath. That is why it is so important for me to make sure that I celebrate those milestones. Not just for my son, but all my loved ones who are still with me. As a child, my mother always went out of her way to make my birthday special, to make it memorable.  I always wondered why and she would say "Your birth is always something to celebrate". This has always stayed with me. That a birthday, no matter how old or young the person may be, is indeed something to be treasured. We hear oh too often how someones life was cut short. Most recently, the death of brilliant actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, at the age of 46. It was shocking to me that he had passed, but more so that fact that he was so relatively young. I am someone who has always learned to live in the moment, the present. Time is fleeting and it is something that people take for granted. So when someone reaches another year of their life, in my opinion, there is always time to celebrate.

I especially feel this for children. They need that encouragement, that motivation. The pat on the back for reaching that next level. For them to know that this day is only for them. That it holds a special place in the history books. I wish I could accurately describe the look of euphoria that my son had while his family and friends were singing "Happy Birthday" to him. Even the picture above does not do it justice. I thought to myself, if I could bottle that feeling, how wonderful the world would be. Even now, I can't help but smile remembering just how purely happy he was. The older we get, we tend to lose that feeling. Rather its replaced by the fear of getting older and frankly that's a shame. I don't fear growing older, actually I like it. My fear is that I won't grow, I won't learn from year to year. That I will be stuck in the same mindset and attitude and that would be a real tragedy.

So let's take a lesson from the kids. They know what this birthday thing is all about and why it should be a day to celebrate.

Love Malinda xoxox